Double Battle Axe IPA | Kelsen Brewing Company

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very good
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Double Battle Axe IPADouble Battle Axe IPA

Brewed by:
Kelsen Brewing Company
New Hampshire, United States | website

Style: American Double / Imperial IPA

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 9.00%

Availability: Rotating

Notes / Commercial Description:
This beer uses a “damn the cost” approach to recipe design. We use over 6 lbs of hops per BBL with a majority of those hops being used in late whirlpool additions and dry hopping. Following our steadfast commitment to drinkability in our beers, the abundance of hops produces a significant citrusy aroma and creates a unique “hop nectar” flavor that will surely satisfy the Imperial IPA aficionado. This beer also has a very light, dry malt profile that allows the intense hop flavors to explode from the glass.

Added by johnnnniee on 06-17-2014

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Reviews: 17 | Ratings: 69
Photo of brewandbbq
3.72/5  rDev -4.9%
look: 4 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.5

On tap at the Thirsty Moose.

Hazy dark copper with minimal head and lacing. Pine and malt in the nose with some chipped toffee. On the slick side of medium bodied and a bit chewy. Sweet malt and piney hops on the palate. Finishes a bit sweet with pine-rubbed caramel.

I prefer a drier, more vibrantly hoppy IIPA.

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Photo of braican
3.47/5  rDev -11.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.25

Poured from a 22oz bomber into a pint glass. No date on the bottle, but I purchased it about a month ago.

L: Pours a clear amber orange with a small head. Leaves decent lacing down the side.

S: Dank, earthy hop character. Sweet caramel, mango, some citrus. Aroma is probably my favorite part about this.

T: Starts out super bitter, but does mellow out a bit after a few sips. Taste doesn't really follow the smell; it's very sweet toffee and caramel up front but finishes with that huge resinous bitterness that I am not the biggest fan of. A bit vegetal and some grapefruit on the palate as well. The bitterness lingers for a bit. I'm not getting any alcohol flavor.

F: I would have expected a malty, sweet, 9% DIPA to be thick and syrupy. Not the case here; this beer is crazy smooth and very drinkable. Finishes fairly dry.

O: The more I drank, the more I enjoyed Double Battle Axe, but that'll happen with a 9% bomber. There were some very nice elements in the aroma and the feel of the beer; it was just a little bit unbalanced to that bitterness side for my taste. It was enjoyable enough, but I'm not sure that I would seek this out again.

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Photo of jzeilinger
3.98/5  rDev +1.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Many thanks to SawDog505 for this bottle!

A - Deep copper gold color with gentle carbonation and a moderately soapy, white lacing ring.

S - Nose is very weak and it's hard to pull anything out (wish I had more to offer here).

T - Spicy citrus and well balanced.

M - Medium body.

O - Very "East Coast" in character but the spicy character eventually builds and makes this IPA very enjoyable.

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Photo of Bierman9
4.21/5  rDev +7.7%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25

I picked up a growler of this last Saturday (19DEC15) for $16. Going to quaff a pint or 2 today (26DEC15) out on the back deck.

Filled an Imperial nonic with the libation. It's a clear brew, a striking, medium golden hue, with some scattered carbo meandering about. The head is a creamy, frothy dollop of off-white foam. It started out at about 1/2" but has ebbed to a 1/8" layer, with great lacing sticking to the glass. It has an inviting aroma, with a little toasty malt and a lot of pithy hopping. It is quite smooth on the tongue, and the body is a solid medium.

Flavor-wise, a touch of toasty malt and light caramel alight on the palate at the outset. But soon after that Double Battle Axe lays waste to all suggestions of sweetness and throws down a plethora of lupulins. There's some pineapple and grapefruit present, along with some orange rind, resiny pine and more pithy bitterness. Am rather enjoying this one, and I can feel a bit of a warming effect, especially on this 50°F day in southern NH. Prosit!!

4.21/5 rDev +6.3%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.25 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.25


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Photo of BeerAdvocate
3.4/5  rDev -13%
look: 3.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 3.5

Vegtal, Toffee, Herbal, Yeast

Three sips in and we are still waiting for this beer to pop, the alcohol is there and noticeable but the hop character sort of falters. Big toffee sweetness battles it out with the wavering hop bitterness and flavor, the hops do come out ahead but not by much. Even the color is not what we had expected, darker than we wanted to see ... perhaps this one should have simply been dubbed an American Strong Ale. Aside from all of this, decent drinking with this one.

STYLE: Double IPA | ABV: 9.0% | AVAILABILITY: Year-round

Review from BeerAdvocate magazine issue #95 (DEC 2014)

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Photo of JayF562
2.49/5  rDev -36.3%
look: 3 | smell: 2.75 | taste: 2 | feel: 3 | overall: 2.75

Smell is muted a lot by the large malt presence. Color is fairly dark, not my preference in a dipa. Beer seems overly bitter, followed by mostly malt a slight pine hop flavor. Some band aid off flavor as well. I wouldn't buy this again. Save your money.

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Photo of ScaryEd
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4.25 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 4 | feel: 3.75 | overall: 3.75

Poured from a growler filled at the brewery.

The pour is a slightly hazy, bright golden-orange color with a bubbly white head. Excellent retention and some beautiful lacing.

The aroma is dank, earthy, bitter, piney, resinous, and slightly floral. I also get the subtlest hint of sweet malt on the back end.

The taste follows the nose to a T. Extremely earthy and bitter, with lots of pine and some citrus. Just a tad spicy on the back end as well.

The mouth is quite heavy for a DIPA, with a good amount of stickiness. Relatively low carbonation. Very bitter and a bit dry.

Overall, a solid DIPA. Not much to say about this one. It's bitter and dank, but has some subtle sweetness to balance out the flavors. The aroma is simply pungent, but not quite what I look for in a truly great IPA. Still, a relatively well done version of the style.

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Photo of theandyday
4.72/5  rDev +20.7%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.75 | feel: 5 | overall: 4.75


I think that Kelsen has brewed this beer four times, and I've had a few from each batch. I've watched the evolution and I have to say this most recent batch is outstanding. It's great watching a small brewery hone in on the flavor profile they're looking for - and for me it's what craft beer is all about.

This beer is not a citra/Simcoe citrus bomb- which for me, is what makes it stand out. It's got hints of citrus and some bright flavors, but it's dank, subtle fruit and pretty damn drinkable at 9%. Like all their beers, it's got a nice head when poured which allows the aromas to pop all around you. I'm big into lacing - signs of a clean glass, beer lines and a well-crafted beer. This DIPA delivers.

In a world of citrus bombs, this beer is a welcome addition to the community.

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Photo of SawDog505
3.89/5  rDev -0.5%
look: 4.5 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 3.75

Poured into a 12 oz tulip glass, not sure when it was bottled. Pours a dark yellow, with a two inch fluffy white head that leaves behind loads of lace.

Smell is lots of mango, lemon, grapefruit, biscuit, and hard candy, but something is a little off.

Taste is very aggressive grapefruit rind and lemon, wow this is really bitter on the tongue, in a good way I think. Way more bitter than the nose would have you expect.

Body is medium large, plenty of life, a touch dry, and drinks easy enough considering it's bitterness and full body.

This is a very aggressive, bitter, and one dimensional DIPA, not saying it is bad.

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Photo of Cynthia38
5/5  rDev +27.9%
look: 5 | smell: 5 | taste: 5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Huge bitterness aroma and flavor. I had it extremely fresh and it is incredible. I think maybe the guy who rated it low got an old bottle from the sound of his description.

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Photo of AshlandNacho
1.83/5  rDev -53.2%
look: 2 | smell: 1.5 | taste: 1.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 2

L: not a color I like to see in my IPAs (of any variety). If I threw a couple ice cubes in it it would pass for iced tea. S: syrupy sweet cleaning fluid. T: way too sweet for me, caramel sugar sweet, like a Werther's Original dipped in butter. MF: this was quite decent actually. O: had high hopes after reading other reviews but I honestly am not sure what beer you had. Battle Axe was good but I regret to say DBA was a drain pour.

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Photo of softtracii
4.6/5  rDev +17.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

This is their recent batch Jan 2015 approx? This one is excellent compared to their first release. This is another go to double. Very rich all around.

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Photo of jdhilt
3.88/5  rDev -0.8%
look: 4 | smell: 3.5 | taste: 4 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

Pours a five-finger+ cream head that fades slowly leaving some lace. Hazy amber color. Good carbonation and medium bodied. Serious pine hop nose and flavor is pine hops with caramel balancing the 80 IBUs. The higher ABV, 9.0%, is hidden. Decent DIPA. Not cheap at $9.95 for a 22oz bottle from Bert's Better Beers Hooksett, NH.

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Photo of Kinger86
3.31/5  rDev -15.3%
look: 3 | smell: 3.75 | taste: 3.25 | feel: 2.75 | overall: 3.25

A: A deep copper/rust color, hazy with fine suspended particles. A quarter-finger of head after a fairly aggressive pour. Minimal lacing.

S: Pine, resin with hints of citrus. Also, some very sweet caramel maltiness with notes of brown sugar rounding out a solid aroma.

T: A bit subdued compared to the aroma. Sweet up front with a resinous finish, maybe a bit of the citrus popping through mid-palate. Lingering, bitter aftertaste.

M: Syrupy and sticky with low carbonation.

O: I think I was expecting much more from this given its Bronze Medal in the US Open Beer Championship. Aroma was on point, but I found the appearance, taste and especially the mouthfeel to be lacking.

Serving type: bottle

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Photo of puboflyons
4.07/5  rDev +4.1%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 4 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4

From the 650 ml. bottle released in June 2014. Sampled on July 5, 2014 less than a week after this won Bronze at the US Open Beer Championship in the DIPA category.

A slightly cloudy olive-amber pour with a tremendous cream colored head that sticks around.

The aroma is a lovely mantra of earth, floral, pear, apple, citrus, and toasted caramel malts that blend together and invite me in. For 9%, no booze.

The body is medium to full but it also has a honey-like slick texture.

Taste: A quick hello from the toasted caramel malts suddenly make way for the earthy, grassy, floral, and citrus hops. Moderately dry at the end. The judges weren't wrong about this one.

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Photo of risendragon
4.01/5  rDev +2.6%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3 | overall: 4

Just released Double Battle Axe IPA from mis amigos at Kelsen. Poured from a 22 ounce bottle into a glass.

A- Amber, not much of a head (but then again, I pour very differently).

S- So good I had my teetotaler wife take a whiff and even she loved it. Hops, citrusy ones galore. Hints of floral linger in the nasal passages.

T- Not as good as the aroma hints at, but still delicious. Sweet and hoppy to start with a deep lasting finish of dark chocolate, pine, and spice. Sampled some at the brewery itself and could taste that rich chocolate all the way home. Definitely a challenging yet satisfying and deep brew that hides its 9.0 ABV well.

M- Nice in the mouth, but it has a syrupy feel afterwards from a lack of carbonation. A little more crispness would make this a better brew.

O- Love IPA's and DIPA's and this one is a nice entry into my repertoire. Nice and hoppy with good citrus and spice notes and a dark chocolate finish that really surprised me. Nice job Kelsen!!!

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Photo of johnnnniee
3.9/5  rDev -0.3%
look: 3.75 | smell: 4.25 | taste: 3.75 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4

On tap at Cask and Vine
Slightly hazy medium golden color with a smallish off white head. Aromas of resin and pine in spades! Dank resinous hop aroma with plenty of caramel and sugary maltiness to back it up. The flavor as the aroma suggests is rather sugary sweet, but there is plenty of citrus pine and resinous hop flavor to counter that. Medium to thick body with a moderate level of carbonation. I really enjoyed the aroma on this one, but I felt the mouthfeel was a bit too syrupy sweet for my tastes. If I were the brewer I would add a bit of sugar to this to help dry it out a little as its pretty damn tasty otherwise.

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Double Battle Axe IPA from Kelsen Brewing Company
3.91 out of 5 based on 69 ratings.
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